A set of three standards which can be used to manage any assets, from railway sleepers to brand reputation to telecommunications networks, have been published by ISO.
- ISO 55001 – sets out the requirements of an asset management system
- ISO 55002 – provides additional useful guidance for applying ISO 55001
- ISO 55000 – gives an overview of the subject and sets out principles and terminology.
“In this new standard we have defined an asset as an item, thing or entity that has potential or actual value for an organisation,” says development committee chairman Rhys Davies. “This is vague, but in fact purposefully so. We wanted to make it clear to everyone that an asset can be anything from tangible and physical items such as rails, trains and vehicles to the more intangible such as the reputation of a company.
“All of these things can bring value to a company and need to be well managed in order to make the most of that value. ”
Davies says there are many similarities between managing, say, rails and brands: “The fundamental principles are the same. If you do nothing with things, and this applies to both a brand and rails, they deteriorate. Their value, or potential value, decreases.
“All assets need maintaining so although the actions we take to maintain them might be different (for rails this might be renewing them, whereas for brands it might be choosing to sponsor new events), both will benefit from long-term plans and strategies.
“Asset management is about knowing what we want to achieve with an asset and how to make it happen, in addition to assessing risks associated with that asset. It is about having a long-term strategy,” Davies says.
“This standard can be used by many types of organisations and companies, public or private. Everything from a city or local service provider to a supermarket chain can benefit from good asset management.”
The standards can be bought from the ISO Store or from ISO members; some parts, including the introduction, scope and terms and definitions, can be viewed for free here.